The Burden of Poverty

The Burden of Poverty: A snapshot of poverty across Canada

October 2014

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“The Burden of Poverty: A snapshot of poverty across Canada” uses the most recent data from Statistics Canada to demonstrate the reality of poverty across the country.

Released on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, this report provides an accessible set of materials to support national and community-level anti-poverty work across the country, including CPJ’s own outreach and engagement activities, and Dignity for All: the campaign for a poverty-free Canada.

Highlights of the “Burden of Poverty” report:

  • Measuring the unequal impact of poverty on some groups, like new immigrants, families led by single mothers, un-attached adults, youth and Aboriginal people.
  • Presenting poverty rates for each province and territory as well as 32 communities across Canada.
  • Calling for a federal plan to deal with the causes of poverty.

CPJ typically releases an annual “Poverty Trends Scorecard” on October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. However, this year has been particularly challenging in getting the statistical data for measuring poverty which has limited our ability to report on trends.

Statistics Canada is in the process of replacing the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), with the new Canadian Income Survey (CIS). But now the CIS data release, usually in June, is late. We are still waiting for 2012 figures, though it may be well into 2015 before we receive this information. As a result, the majority of the data used in this report is from the Statscan National Household Survey (NHS) from 2011. We use Taxfiler data for Canada’s territories as the NHS does not provide that information.

The measure of poverty used for the report is the After-Tax Low Income Measure (LIM), which represents half of the median income. For more on making sense of poverty measures, read CPJ Research Associate Katherine Scott’s blog post.

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